2017 was a year that MANG began to take stride. Keith and I had the opportunity to become a local exhibitor at the Bonefish & Tarpon Trust Symposium, a two-day science-based fundraiser. Its focus is to educate the everyday fisherman on the latest research from the top scientists in the marine industry. Each day was full of opportunities to learn more about threatened environments (i.e. mangrove, sea grass, and oyster environments), giving real time data and proposing plans on how to conserve & restore these environments in effort to making Florida and the world a better place.
But what stood out to Keith and I was a small Fly Fishing Lodge called Fly Fish Guanaja. That’s right, Guanaja. My first reaction was “Where is this place and what makes it so special?” As I began speaking to Fly Fishing ambassadors Noah Thompson and Hagen Patterson, I was intrigued to hear that Fly Fish Guanaja had been involved in Mangrove Restoration Projects for several years now. This captivated me to find out why a place like Guanaja needed mangrove restoration.
1998 was a year that Hondurans will never forget. Category 5 Hurricane Mitch hit the coast, decimating 98% of the mangrove population in Guanaja. This storm of the century forever changed the hydrology and natural recruitment for mangrove environments. It was years later that the local Guanacans with Fly Fish Guanaja and the Bay Islands Conservation Association took a stand to begin coastal restoration of mangroves.
After speaking with the Fish For Change team, I was then introduced to Owner and Operator - Steve Brown. Steve is a legendary fly fishing guide from Colorado with a passion that can light up any room. I Introduced myself and began to tell him about what MANG does through our Buy One. Plant One. Initiative, with the mission of changing the world one mangrove at a time. After a moment of silence his eyes lit up as his brain was overjoyed with an opportunity for MANG to be apart of his 2018 student program in Guanaja.
Steve’s dream of creating positive change had influenced idea after idea until connecting his ultimate goal of using Fly fishing as a tool to influence young people to create positive change, which birthed the Fish For Change movement. This idea is also one that Keith and I believe in and why we fully support the first chapter of this newly launched non-profit.
The MANG team was honored to be apart of last years’ program and thrilled to shed more light on their program in this month’s Monthly Cause.
WATCH: FISH FOR CHANGE